How to Keep the Intimacy in Your Wedding

A wedding doesn’t need to be a grand affair with a cast of thousands. In fact, the best weddings are often small and intimate, and not just because they’re cheaper. This article shows you how to keep the intimacy in your wedding, while making your guests feel truly special to be a part of it.
1. Keep your guest list small. There’s no need to invite everyone you’ve ever met, unless you’re trying to impress the whole world with how much money to have (or had, before your wedding). Close family and friends are essential; the rest of your list depends upon your budget and your willingness to give each guest less of your time.

2. Let your guests help you plan. If each guest has a small task to perform at your wedding, he or she will feel very  special about being invited to contribute to the success of your special day — whether it’s arranging transport, or addressing invitations, or creating DIY décor or favors… anything!
3. Choose an intimate venue. Museums often have wonderfully intimate party rooms. Barns can be very intimate. Many restaurants have small party rooms. An outdoor pavilion at a park is a nice place for a small wedding. You don’t have to book a giant banquet hall.
4. No seats at your ceremony. A brief ceremony with everyone standing will encourage your guests to get nice and close, so they can hear your officiant without a microphone. Of course, the key is “brief.” No one wants to stand for 20 minutes or more. 

5. Find a caterer who can create some truly unique entrees and desserts. Your wedding is special, and you can afford to think beyond the standard breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, mostaccioli and green beans.
6. Use long banquet tables. Seat your guests family-style, to allow for more intimate conversation with more people, instead of forcing everyone to shout across a 7-foot circular table.
7. Have an open mike. Let your guests share their memories of you during dinner. 

8. Display photos — even childhood photos — of you with your various wedding guests, to show them how much they’ve always meant to you. 
9. Have a videographer record a personal greeting by each guest. Whether the guest has a personal story, or a piece of marital wisdom, you’ll treasure their comments. Then, have them compiled in a special DVD memento that you can give to everyone.
10. Have your venue or caterer create a selection of signature cocktails instead of the usual beer, wine and liquor.
11. Keep your reception short. If it’s truly intimate, you probably won’t have a lot of dancing, so there’s no need to spend a lot of money on live music. Just let your guests meet-and-greet one another without a competing source of sound, and let the party wind down when everyone is ready. You may choose to have someone bring along a “boom box” and play some quiet background music; but skip the 8-piece band. You don’t need it.
These tips will ensure that your intimate wedding will leave your honored guests with a lifetime of memories of spending some great quality time with the two of you.

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2015 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company. 

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